CARLISLE, Pa. -- Edwards Super Food Stores here has expanded its ready-to-eat meals offerings with the introduction of "The Chinese Kitchen" at a new store in New Hyde Park, N.Y.
The concept in the 76,000-square-foot store is a first for the 65-unit Edwards, said Denny Hopkins, vice president, marketing and sales development for Giant Food Stores Inc., which operates 149 stores under the Giant, Edwards and Martin's banners.
"While we have the Chinese Kitchen in some Giant and Martin's stores, this is the first in an Edwards," Hopkins said. "We've been very pleased with the ones in Giant and Martin's. We'll put them in more Edwards, actually in our stores under all three of the banners, where the demographics indicate they'll do well."
The Chinese program at the New Hyde Park Edwards was ringing up a little more than 1% of total store sales during the first couple of weeks following the grand opening last month, and that's about what the program is registering in Giant and Martin's stores, he said.
Sales at the Edwards store have since dipped a little, but Hopkins attributes that to the hot weather. "As soon as it cools down, they'll be up again," he said.
At this point, sales volume is skewed toward early evening, he said, an indication that "people are taking it home for dinner."
The Chinese Kitchen is operated by an outside company under a lease agreement with Giant, Hopkins said. At the New Hyde Park Edwards, the Chinese program is adjacent to the deli where fried and rotisserie chicken are served up and sandwiches, including panini, are made to order. Self-service coffee and soda is available. Seating for approximately 50 diners at tables and chairs is close by.
The Chinese Kitchen, however, is touted as a takeout program. In fact, a 5-inch-by-6-inch advertisement in the circular at the Edward's store reads: "Chinese Kitchen, fresh Chinese food to go!" under an illustration of a steaming wok. A starburst next to it proclaims, "New!"
The Chinese Kitchen features Asian chefs who turn out more than two dozen items a day, Hopkins said. While best-sellers are prepared ahead in small batches and kept on a hot table, the chefs also will cook any item to order, he added.